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BT Community Fibre Broadband Scheme Set to Benefit 40000 UK Premises

Friday, January 27th, 2017 (1:51 am) - Score 1,080
openreach fibre broadband fttc cabinet

The Community Fibre Partnerships scheme that BT setup a little while back, which is a co-funded approach that works with local groups in order to deliver faster broadband into poorly served areas, has so far helped to cover 20,000 extra premises across the UK and they’re set to deliver 40,000.

Earlier this week BT announced that the scheme had just contracted its 200th community using the partnership approach. As a result of that people living and working in The Yard (North Bristol), which reflects around 39 homes and various businesses / community buildings, have now gained access to “fibre broadband” via the operator’s FTTC/P technology.

The programme itself tends to focus on communities in the final 5% or so of the United Kingdom, specifically those that have yet to benefit from a faster “fibre broadband” service (urban or rural areas). Usually this reflects a joint funding arrangement, where BT covers the costs in line with their commercial model and the community self-funds the remaining gap.

However such communities can sometimes also make use of government grants / vouchers (e.g. the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme) in order to bring the cost down and BT even offers grants worth up to £20,000 to help, although they only do that for communities where the new technology would also benefit a “local school or similar organisation.”

We don’t know the total cost of The Yard’s deployment, although BT did supply a grant of £6,426 in order to help cover part of the cost. Admittedly the grant ultimately goes back to BT, but the community does at least end up paying less than if it wasn’t offered at all.

Pete Tiley, Local Community Co-ordinator for The Yard, said:

“Securing fast broadband connectivity will be huge a boost for everybody living, learning and working in The Yard.

Many internet users in The Yard found that our existing broadband connection was unable to meet our needs.

The Garden Bristol provides a fantastic out-door childcare service to local families in the area and with the addition of superfast broadband they’ll be able to provide so much more to those children that attend.

I am delighted that we’ll soon be able to enjoy the many benefits of a fast reliable online service thanks to BT’s Community Fibre Programme.”

BT has informed ISPreview.co.uk that about 90% of all their community partnerships involve the deployment of ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, while most of the remaining 10% tend to use ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) lines. Last year the rural community of Cotwalton in Staffordshire was one several such areas to get FTTP through the scheme (here).

On the other hand not everybody will be happy with the idea of having to pay thousands of pounds in order for BT to upgrade the local broadband connectivity, which many would today regard as being nearly as important as water or electricity. People don’t generally have to pay through the nose to get working electricity lines or water pipes, although broadband does tend to be a more complicated animal.

Such concerns are particularly notable in locations like The Yard, which is essentially a small allotment community that sits slap bang in the middle of North Bristol’s urban sprawl and these are the areas where you’d normally expect private investment to have tackled long ago.

Sadly there are still plenty of urban areas, particularly those that suffer from nasty Exchange Only Lines (EOL), where upgrading can be both a slow and expensive proposition, even in some of the busiest locations.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. Avatar New_Londoner

    Impressive numbers – does this make the project one of the UK’s larger altnets? 😉

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